Note: Mumsnet has not checked the knowledge, experience or professional qualifications of anyone posting on Mumsnet Talk, so this is not necessarily the best place to seek help if you're feeling seriously distressed or suicidal. Mumsnet cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice and support.

Anxiety has got worse!! Please help!

(45 Posts)
CraziMummie Tue 01-Oct-13 19:54:08

Have name changed for this...

In short, was put on prozac 2months ago for PND (now 7months pp) well more specifically extreme anxiety/irrational thoughts. (Convinced ppl will shoot me if i stop at traffic lights, wake up in middle of night convinced someone is in my bedroom with a gun and if i move they will kill me, or worse, my baby!) ive been getting through this by telling myself that im being irrational/silly/nothin bad is going to happen.

Last night someone broke into my car that was parked on my drive whilst i was asleep - didnt hear a thing!! Now i am absolutely TERRIFIED that they will come bk or try the house or something and i can no longer reason with myself tht im being daft.

Have been referred to a councellor as GP thinks this will help but soonest appt is like 5wks away!! I CANT FEEL LIKE THIS FOR 5WKS!!! What do i do?? Please tell me some1 has been were i am/that it does get better! Im terrified of bein in my own house in broad daylight!!

treaclesoda Tue 01-Oct-13 20:02:59

I suffer from anxiety, but it takes a different form. I'm not sure what to advise, but I wanted to reply. I totally understand the 'I can't wait five weeks feeling like this' feeling, anxiety seems to take over and that five weeks feels like years.

Ok, practical stuff. Are you alone? Do you have a partner? Anyone who understands how you feel?

CraziMummie Tue 01-Oct-13 20:16:06

Thank u for replying! smile

No im not alone, i live with my partner (n our baby) he knows about the pills n i told him abit bout how i feel but he doesnt really understand so i dont like to bring it up alot.

I know im being silly cuz plenty of ppl have no one to talk to or hav truly horrible things happen n i shud just enjoy being a mum but my thoughts take over n i cant think of anything else!

treaclesoda Tue 01-Oct-13 20:30:19

no, you're not being silly, you're suffering from a real condition, no one would choose to live in constant terror.

In my case, my anxiety was, like yours, a post natal depression/anxiety thing. I became convinced that my DH was dying, that every time he left for work I'd never see him again because he would die at work (er, he works in an office, so hardly dangerous), that I would die and not live to see my child grow, that my child would die. If a plane flew overhead, I'd be on edge thinking it was starting to crash towards my house. Anyone who hasn't suffered from anxiety will read that and think 'pull yourself together, thats daft!' , but when you're stuck in the middle of it, you can't imagine ever not being in a constant state of worry.

But, you can overcome it, you really can. I've been on a low dose of medication for several years now, and in combination with some counselling and self help techniques, I can function fairly normally most of the time. I have setbacks (I'm currently trying to overcome quite a big setback) but all in all, I've come a long way. You can too.

CraziMummie Tue 01-Oct-13 20:53:01

Im sorry to hear u had similar thoughts. Absolutely well done for dealing with them! I admire ur determination. smile

I currently dont feel like i can do that, i try and motivate myself so as to not let these thoughts win but something always seems to happen to slap me back down. Last nights break in has started a complete spiral, i can feel it, and i dont know how to stop it. Im terrified to go to bed tonight in case something will happen tonight. I just want me and my family to be safe and for me to feel like im keeping them safe

treaclesoda Tue 01-Oct-13 20:57:07

do you live anywhere near a decent library? The health section in my local library has some pretty decent self help books, cognitive behavioural therapy was the technique that I found helpful. Even just reading the books was helpful, because the fact that someone went to the trouble of studying people like me and writing a book to help reassured me that I wasn't alone.

Milkhell Tue 01-Oct-13 20:58:17

I'm in the place you are. Mine is postnatal too. After DS it was heinous, never fully recovered then fell pregnant with DD. I'm six months pp. Mine is a conviction I'm going mad and dying. It's hell on earth. Oh and I hate daylight. And everything feels strange. I feel like I've totally lost it. It's awful.

What helps me is posting on here so that you know you're not the only one. How are you feeling now?

CraziMummie Tue 01-Oct-13 21:27:03

I will have to look where our nearest library is (live in a village) but thats a good idea. Just talking to ppl who relate helps so an entire book dedicated to it sounds great - thank u!

Im soooo tired, i want to go to sleep! I put the landing light on thinkin that wud deter potential burgulars etc but then i thought it might just alert them that we r in the house n put us in danger so now im stressing bout this new dilemma! It never ends! Always something! Its exhausting! How can having a baby do this to us :-(

Thank u for replying to me!!!

treaclesoda Tue 01-Oct-13 21:36:39

I hope you get some sleep. If you, or milkhell, need to chat, you know where to find me!

Milkhell Tue 01-Oct-13 21:52:19

Hormones gone wrong I reckon :-(

It's a living nightmare. I can understand why you're tired xx

Thank you Treacle.

HoopHopes Tue 01-Oct-13 23:12:09

Hi have you tried talking to your health visitor. There may be support groups for people with pnd she can put you in touch with.

5 weeks is in reality fairly quick even though to feels awful. The NHS has worked really hard at increasing access to short term counselling. 7 years ago I had to wait 9 months for an assessment and 9 months more for treatment. I gave up and went private, which is maybe an option for you until you get to top of the list?

Your local children's centre will have support workers, can you request one of those via your HV to help you in coming weeks.

EmmaJane26 Wed 02-Oct-13 05:54:55

Hi, I suffered from severe anxiety following the birth of my DS 2 years ago. I went to see the GP quickly and then saw a psyc. My first appt was 2 weeks away and I remember feeling as you describe - a sheer sense of terror as to how I would get to that point. Anyway I am posting because when i saw my psychiatrist for the first time he listened to me and saw how distressed i was then smiled at me and told me he'd seen so many mums in the same place as me and that I'd be better post Xmas (3 months) and he was right. i have read many posts on here and i feel saddened that it seems like some mums have not had the right level of care from their GP. It was the ADs that I was put on which made me better. They started working in a month and now I have been off them for a year and have never been ill since. When I read about mums that don't take them or haven't been given the correct ones for them it always seems that they don't get better and the longer anxiety is left untreated the more difficult it is to stop as the brain must train itself to think that way. Anyway my advice is to go back to your GP and ask them about the new ADs, mine was sertaline, but know that doesn't work for everyone. I am convinced that with the correct treatment it will take your anxiety away as it did for me. Good luck.

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 10:29:24

I've taken note Emma. Thank you. I'm bfing but when I stop I shall be giving them a whirl. X

cls77 Wed 02-Oct-13 11:03:10

Hi there, just wanted to say that I also experienced the dreaded pnd anxiety, and it went from anything to do with my baby being hurt through me dropping her or leaving the car seat somewhere, to thinking we would be invaded by aliens thanks to a film that scared me senseless!! It was only a 12 cert too! (its actually still freaky to type that!) My dd is now 11 and yes its been a journey, and certain life events (end of my marriage, family members passing away) can trigger the old anxieties and consequently behaviours off again. BUT it is never as bad as the first time, as half of what you are feeling is pure fear. Fear that you cant control what your own brain is thinking, fear that you are going mad (you arent) and fear of what people will think of you for thinking what you do.
I was given a book by a counsellor to do with managing OCD (this was how my management of anxiety showed itself) and the book begins with dealing with the anxieties to start with. Its still available on amazon, and although I havent looked at it for years, I wont throw it away as to me, that is what helped me the most. It may not be relevant to you but was called the OCD Workbook.
As for now, and the next few hours/days/5 weeks, get as much sleep as your brain and baby will let you, as this makes anxiety worse. Eat sensibly, and above all, take each hour/day as it comes. Yes you have had a fright with the break in but that doesnt mean someone is going to do the same to your house. I imagine if youre anything like me, you check that everything is double locked a few times anyway! Your partner is there at night too? So that should help. Dont put too much pressure on yourself to feel on top of the world, you are a new mother, and it affects us all in different ways. Those of us with anxiety will be the only ones to truly understand others in the same boat (although I wouldnt wish this on anyone!)
Hugs x

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 11:32:02

Thank you cls77. I have hijacked this thread slightly! I'm going to buy the book. X

CharlieBoo Wed 02-Oct-13 12:31:40

How funny that so many of us on this thread fear we are going mad. That is all my anxiety is about. I get so frightened with what my brain might come up with next its hard to function at times. I get images of being carted off to some nut house. My cbt is being pushed through so in hoping to get started on this ASAP. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Hugs to all of you.

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 13:17:32

It's how convinced you are that makes it nightmarish. Logically somewhere I know that I'm functioning and so nothing seriously wrong can be going on.

Yet I'm certain there's something seriously wrong. I'm mad/dying/have a terminal illness.

I'm so sick of it as it's gone on for two and a half years now and it's a nightmare that I can't wake up from. I'm convinced I won't see my children grow up.

No one will 'believe' me that there's something wrong though so I don't know what else I can do. I hope CBT works for you all, it didn't for me.

treaclesoda Wed 02-Oct-13 13:25:48

Milkhell, I totally identify with what you're saying. I suffered this way for over three years after the birth of my first child before seeking help. I just didn't realise it was an actual 'thing'. Then, I got treatment but had to stop when pregnant with my second. But have been back on medication for a couple of years, My GP and midwife care was excellent in my second pregnancy, they really took this seriously.

CBT was helpful for me, but tbh the most helpful thing was medication. Citalopram in my case. It makes the difference between me being a relatively normal functioning person and being a wreck, shaking from head to toe, heart palpitations, shaking hands etc. If I have to take it for the rest of my life, that's what I'll do, because anxiety is a hellish condition.

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 13:27:25

Thanks treacle x x

JohFlow Wed 02-Oct-13 13:38:19

thanks I had severe PND with an anxiety component.

I think you need to increase your support right now too. Can I suggest that you ring a mental health helpline/the Samaritans/The Depression alliance/MIND or other such services? It will tide you over till you are able to touch base with your counsellor. Some are available in the night for any lonely/frightening moments. Most don't ask for your name if you want to remain anonymous.

It may also be worth returning to a G.P to explain the increase in your symptoms. A health visitor may also provide some practical help. If you know where the counselling is originating from - could you call them and suggest that your symptoms are increasing (could bump you up the priority list)

5 weeks is way too long if you are feeling this daily.

Big Hugs

teawomen Wed 02-Oct-13 13:58:56

Hi, I have suffered since becoming pregnant with my now 11 month old. I am currently having cbt and feel much better still not completely an I still feel somthing is going to happen to me. The thoughts always in back if my head even when I'm 'ok'. I just wanted to say thank you because I never really put it down to having a baby. I mean when I was pregnant I was anxious (thought t was normal at the time) then when my lg was 4 month it came back but up until now (reading this post) I never even thought about it being prenatal.

teawomen Wed 02-Oct-13 13:59:37

Postnatal sorry autocorrect x

CraziMummie Wed 02-Oct-13 14:00:30

Thanks for everyones replys!! I will look at that book!

Milkhell feel free to hijack, hopefully the suggestions can help us all. smile


cls77 Wed 02-Oct-13 14:07:58

Milkhell and Charlieboo and in fact anyone else!
We are not nutters!! x 5 times grin
We are unique in our uniqueness thats all!

We can all understand and help each other (as opposed to judging shock )

Good luck and onwards and upwards! x

CharlieBoo Wed 02-Oct-13 14:47:01

Well lets please keep updating this thread and talking on here. I know it helps me loads. Can I just ask Treaclesoda how long it took for the citalopram to kick in? I'm on my 3rd week and still feel terribly anxious... I am getting by but each day is hard. Xx

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 14:53:23

Does anyone else feels like things are just 'off' and can't quite put their finger on the feeling? That's what's driving my anxiety at the mo :-(

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 14:54:27

Also anyone else think there's a hormonal link to this?

treaclesoda Wed 02-Oct-13 15:07:09

It took about 3 weeks to start feeling the effects of citalopram, but another few weeks to feel the full benefit. Hang in there, this will improve.

CraziMummie Wed 02-Oct-13 15:08:03

Can you request a certain AD?? Ive seen alot of ppl saying citalopram really helped them. Im on fluroxitine

treaclesoda Wed 02-Oct-13 15:11:07

Milkhell, don't know if this is the sort of thing you mean but when I was at my worst I got into a frame of mind where if I wasn't feeling really worried about something (in my case it was mostly illness I was afraid of), I would almost remind myself to worry, if that makes sense. Eg if I had a nice morning with a friend, just chatting, and momentarily forgot to be worried sick, I would find myself scolding myself for being so stupid, and I would think I was going to be 'punished' in some way for forgetting to worry.

cls77 Wed 02-Oct-13 15:18:52

I found Doselupin to be the most helpful for me, it is an eve tablet and has a slightly sleepy affect to it, but as my worst time used to be in the evenings then thats what worked. Citalopram and Prozac are also good (Experience within family!)

cls77 Wed 02-Oct-13 15:20:43

treacle I completely agree! Im definately worse when it cathces me "off guard" Its like my brains saying - hold on there a minute, youre not THAT much better, yet!!

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 15:23:49

Treacle yes I hope so. When I have nothing specific - eg cancer lumps etc - I get down to constantly worrying about how things look like! And if things feel 'off' which obviously makes them feel off. So like if you look at a word too long and hard it starts to look weird - it's a bit like that for me at the moment but it's the whole world that looks and feels funny. Then that feeds into me having done kind of degenerative brain illness. It's awful :-(

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 15:25:01

I just can't grasp that there's nothing wrong. I'm convinced there is and that I won't ever be lucky enough to see my kids grow up.

CharlieBoo Wed 02-Oct-13 15:29:19

I know what you mean milkhell. Because my fear is I'm going insane my mind starts to in visage all sorts of things, scary things which scares the living hell out of me hence the horrendous anxiety. I so want to be better, this had been over 3 weeks now and I'm just so sick of it all. X

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 19:55:45

Wine helps :-/ just a glass but I do find it helps a bit. I know that's not very PC. X

wonkyduck Wed 02-Oct-13 20:37:29

I wanted to offer any help that I could as I suffered with anxiety and PND after my first child and then it came back after my mum died in unusual circumstances.

I went through the whole drug thing and it didn't work for me.. ended up panicking whether new feelings were because of the drugs etc... I read every forum, bought every book about anxiety, saw a councellor.. even tried hypnotherapy. I just wanted so badly to be fixed and get my life back for me and my family, I felt like there was something massively wrong with me and I would never find a way out of the prison.

By fluke I stumbled across the one thing that changed everything, I know it sounds dramatic but I think I'd still be screwed if I hadn't found it. It was a book by a British chap called Paul David 'At last a life'. It's simply his story and battle with anxiety but it just clicked for me.

He basically makes you stop kicking the crap out of yourself about it and over-analysing it all. Most importantly, I realised that there's nothing wrong with me and that I don't need fixing. If your leg was broken you wouldn't keep slamming it in a door so why do we beat ourselves up when we have anxiety? The symptoms of anxiety are essentially the effects of adrenaline and stress hormones on already frayed nerves that need time to heal.

There are no quick fixes, its just understanding what is going on so that you can escape the fear cycle. Its just awful feeling like you're going mad but I'd bet that you're not. Hormones have a lot to answer for and as others have said they can totally unhinge you.

I'm no good at explaining it but I would seriously recommend reading it. I bought it for Kindle but I guess you can get the paperback on Amazon. I kept reading it and reading it until it sunk in. Everytime my mind would try to fool back into thinking that it must be something more, I would just read bits of the book again and go and find something to occupy me like cleaning or going for a run (when I could get a break from the kids).

He has a website too that you might find helpful but I would suggest steering clear of forums on 'anxiety etc' and googling symptoms as it doesn't help - just focuses you more on constantly 'checking in' to see what you're feeling constantly. I remember doing the same and trying to get a label for every symptom. I know that people need support so I'm not saying don't go on them in that regard if you feel you want to - just maybe not to find answers IYSWIM.

All these other 'techniques' and self-help, CBT stuff etc. just stressed me out. I would get anxious about whether I was doing it right. After reading Paul's book I slowly got better day by day with the odd blip but the blips didn't stop me - I just accepted each day as it came.

Since then (it's been a year) I still get a couple of days before my period starts (clearly when my hormones go a bit haywire) where I experience some anxiety symptoms but it just doesn't faze me anymore. I just accept it and know that it will pass... and it always does.

Another tip is running or some other exercise. It naturally boosts your endorphins, a bit like a natural prozac to help you on your way.

Hang on in there and don't let it stop you living. That's a key point. Even if you feel like you're going mad please don't let the symptoms stop you from going for that coffee meet-up or that trip to the cinema with a friend. It might feel bloody terrifying when you're feeling bad but sticking your fingers up to the anxiety feelings is a massive step to recovery.

I honestly would never have believed in my wildest dreams that I could come through it but I'm living proof... I hope this info might help.

wonkyduck Wed 02-Oct-13 20:41:22

oops.. a link might help!

treaclesoda Wed 02-Oct-13 21:16:39

Thanks wonkyduck, I'll look into that. I know I'm posting here to try to offer hope to those who are stuck right in the thick of their symptoms, but I find it is an ongoing battle for me, so I'm always interested in any books that might help.

One that I have found helpful is this one on health anxiety, when I feel myself slide backwards a bit, I often get this one out go back to it.


Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 21:42:33

Thank you Wonky duck. That's so thoughtful. I have read his book last time around (after DS) and it really helped but my symptoms have morphed somewhat into this weird seizure-esque dissociated feeling. It's definitely worth revisiting. Xx

Milkhell Wed 02-Oct-13 23:06:52

I've ordered the health book :-)

treaclesoda Thu 03-Oct-13 09:02:32

Milkhell, from what you've said, your anxiety symptoms sound a lot like mine. I would be anxious about a lot of things, but health concerns are off the scale. I simply cannot rationalise that its possible to have a lump or bump somewhere without it being cancer. Even though I know that its not just possible but perfectly common to have lumps or bumps without them being sinister, my mind won't allow me to believe it. So then I go through huge avoidance exercises, in the warped belief that if I can't see or feel something, its not really there. My DH is bald and a few years ago, I convinced myself he had a lump on his head (he didn't, it was the shape of his head, and its not a lump at all, its just that his head isn't perfectly symmetricalblush ). For many months, I would only sit on his left side, because I knew I couldn't see it there. If we were in a queue, I insisted he stand in front, so that I couldn't see it. If I saw it, my legs turned to jelly, my heart pounded, I had stars in my eyes and felt faint. And at the same time my mind immediately started to construct this massive story about how I would cope without him, what it would be like to be a widow at 30 years of age etc. It was horrific and yet it just sounds so irrational, so silly, to anyone else who doesn't understand what it's like.

treaclesoda Thu 03-Oct-13 09:04:06

no, I insisted that I stand in front of him so that I couldn't see it. Anyway, you get the picture, it was irrational!

CharlieBoo Thu 03-Oct-13 14:02:13

Wonkyduck... I just wanted to let you know I downloaded At Last A Life by Paul David. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this little gem... Have spent all day reading and it makes so much sense. Just hope I can put it into practise. Xxx

wonkyduck Thu 03-Oct-13 19:14:34

CharlieBoo you won't have to try. It will just happen bit by bit. You just need to forget putting a time limit on when you will get better as it will happen once you accept you don't need 'fixing' as such.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now